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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 May, 2003, 21:12 GMT 22:12 UK
Wasps plan final shock
Wasps' Josh Lewsey is collared by Nick Beal
Wasps edged out Northampton in the semi-final
Wasps boss Warren Gatland believes his team can beat Gloucester in their Zurich Premiership title showdown at Twickenham this month.

Wasps reached English rugby's inaugural grand final on 31 May by defeating play-off opponents Northampton 19-10 at Adams Park on Saturday.

It means the top two clubs over England's 22-game regular league season will now come face to face with the championship at stake.

"I think there is only one team in the country capable of beating Gloucester at the moment - and that is us," said Gatland.

Wasps still have to face Bath in next week's Parker Pen Challenge Cup final before the Twickenham showpiece.

Wasps struggled to put us away tonight, and I would be surprised if Gloucester get knocked over
Wayne Smith
Northampton coach

And Gatland hinted that he could give some of his fringe players a chance in that match.

"Two or three players will have an opportunity to get a game next week who were on the bench today," he said after the win over Saints.

"It is only six days between the Parker Pen final and the Twickenham game, but there will be no pressure on us going to Twickenham - it is an occasion that we can enjoy."

Beaten Northampton coach Wayne Smith expects Gloucester to start as strong favourites - and believes Wasps will have to improve if they are to claim the title.

There is only one team in the country capable of beating Gloucester at the moment, and that is us
Warren Gatland
Wasps coach

"Wasps struggled to put us away tonight, and I would be surprised if Gloucester get knocked over," he said.

Northampton started the game missing four key players through injury and suffered a further blow when they lost stand-off Paul Grayson to an ankle problem midway through the first half.

Smith said: "With the amount of possession that Wasps had, we did well to hold it to what we did in the end. We showed plenty of spirit, but it might have been a game too far for us."


SEE ALSO
Dawson out of Wasps clash
12 May 03  |  English
Saints clinch third spot
10 May 03  |  English

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